Valentines Day Nightmare

I work at a small, family owned Indian Restaurant in small town, just
outside of a big city. This means that we get a different variety of
customers coming in & you never really know what to expect. I had to
work on Valentine’s Day this year, which is always…fun. Our
restaurant closes between lunch and dinner for an hour and half so we
have a chance to clean and set up for dinner so we can re-open at
4:30. For some reason we did not have a ton of reservations so there
were only 2 of us working. I was scheduled to start at 3:30 with the
other server coming in at 5:30. By 4 pm I had a line of people waiting
outside, wanting to be let in. I told them we did not open until 4:30
but offered to let them come inside, out of the freezing weather & to
get them something to drink.
All 3 tables took me up on that offer and came inside. I got them
water & Papadum (our complimentary snack), gave them menu’s & told
them I’d be back in 25 minutes to take their orders but to let me
know if they had any questions. Two of my tables understood what I was
saying & quietly kept to themselves as I frantically finished prepping
for dinner. The 3rd table, a man & a woman in their 30’s I’d say,
though much have thought I was speaking another language when I told
them that I couldn’t take their orders till 4:30 since the kitchen
wasn’t open till then. They called me over 5 minutes after I sat
them & this is the conversation that followed:

ME (walking over with a smile)-Do you guys have a question?
MAN (In a pleasant tone at the moment) – No we don’t have a
question but we’re ready to order.
ME – He then starts to order appetizers, ignoring me when I try to
interrupt. I give up & wait till he takes a breath and say, “Sir, I
can’t take your order right now because the restaurant isn’t
technically open for another 20 minutes”
MAN – (Glaring at me for interrupting him & telling him no) what do
you mean the restaurant isn’t open? We’re sitting here aren’t
we? (He then pretends to look around & asks his wife in a sarcastic
tone if they are inside the restaurant or not)
ME – Yes sir, you are sitting inside the restaurant but as I
mentioned when I let you in, its only because it’s starting to snow
MAN – Why do we have to wait till 4:30? Since we already inside, you
don’t you do your damn job & take our order?
ME – (Still smiling but really trying to not say something I’m
going to regret later) I can’t take your order sir because the
kitchen isn’t open till 4:30. Even if I did take your order they
wouldn’t receive your order ill 4:30 & wouldn’t start making it
till then.
MAN – What do you mean the kitchen isn’t open? I say people
working in their when we walked in.
ME – There are people in the kitchen sir but they are still doing
prep work for dinnertime.
MAN – That’s fucking ridicules. Those people are already there.
They are being paid to be making food. Why the fuck won’t you give
them my order so they can make our food?
ME – (Getting angry) Sir, Could you please not use curse words. This
is a restaurant not your home & you cannot talk to me like that.
MAN – (He’s starting to get louder and louder) I can talk to you
any damn way I want. You are a fucking moron if you don’t realize
that I pay your salary by coming here to eat.
ME – (I’m done smiling & being polite to this guy) Sir if you do
not stop yelling and cursing at me I am going to ask you to leave &
not come back.
MAN – (Screaming at me now) DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME? I CAN TALK TO YOU
ME – (I was just staring at this guy in complete shock & was
speechless for once in my life. I opened my mouth to say something
when I left someone gently grab my arm. I looked back to see 2
gentlemen from the other 2 tables I’d seated. Both men were big and
strong but had been totally gentlemen when I’d seated them. One of
the men took me to his table & made me sit down next to his wife. He
then joined the other gentleman at the moron’s tables)
NICE GUY 1 – (In a totally calm, cool voice) you do not talk to
ANYONE that way but especially to a young woman. This is a privately
owned business. If you don’t like the way they are doing things,
leave but don’t you dare yelling at someone who is just doing this
MAN – This is none of your fucking business, old man. Why don’t
you go sit down at your table and mind your own damn business.
NICE GUY 2 – You made it our business when you started behaving the
way you are. Now I’m going to politely ask you to leave or you
aren’t going to like what happens next.
MAN – ARE YOU THREATENING ME? You can’t talk to me that way!
NICE GUY 2 – I’m not threatening you. (Then the guy reaches into
his pocket and pulls out his wallet and says to guy) I am a police
officer. If you don’t leave, right now I’m going to arrest for
harassment and anything else I can think of.
MAN – (Just looks at the two men in silence before telling his wife
“let’s go. I don’t want to eat at his fucking place anyways”)

After the guy leaves, the two men walked back over to me and asked me
if I was okay. When I said yes, they told me to not worry about this
because some people are just born idiots. By this time, the kitchen
had opened so I took their orders and gave them the best service of my
life. Both tables left me big tips & spoke to my manager before they
left to insure I wouldn’t get in trouble. Those men prevented a bad
situation from becoming worse.

– Irritated Waitess

Valentines heart

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  • PeachyKeen

    February 29, 2012

    I am so glad you shared this. I hope if I’m ever in a situation like that someone will stand up for me or that I’ll have the courage to stand up for someone else.

  • Wow, that’s crazy. I’m sorry that you had to go through something like that, but I’m happy those guys were there to help. I’ve worked in retail for over 5 years, and some of the things that people have done, or said to me have just been insane. I chalk it up to no home training and try to remember that I’m there so I can pay for college. I have less than a year left, and will graduate relatively debt free. If karma truly does exist, maybe one day I’ll find myself crossing paths with these people again…as their boss :) lol Good luck to you. Remember to keep your head up. People like that never get far in life. People like you do :)

  • a

    May 15, 2012

    What about flexibility? Why not let them have a free drink before 4:30 and make them shut up?

  • Tessa

    June 7, 2012

    Why would you give them a free drink? They should be grateful that they were let inside the restaurant before it was even opened. She even brought them something to snack on while they waited. If you appease people behaving like overgrown children, they will continue to act in that manner.

  • Kate

    June 8, 2012

    Wow! What an awful guy, I can’t imagine what the girl with him was thinking. I would hope that more people would stand up for their server like that. Completely unacceptable behavior. Some people should just not be allowed in public.

  • shannon

    February 15, 2013

    so sorry that happened i would want to cry if that happened to me i’d be so pissed !! glad you held your ground u go chicaaaa! also glad there was some back up lol! good job puttin that mother effer in his place. and TOTES agree with tessa. Appeasing insolence is the same as fueling it.

  • Robin Lee

    March 24, 2013

    You should be commended for your patience, and not sinking to that mans level. The universe works in mysterious ways–hence the 2 gentlemen that assisted you!
    Bravo–keep up that attitude–it often(not always) assures decent tips.

  • ang

    July 30, 2013

    Bravo! I’ve served for years, and have dealt with “questionable patrons”, however, it’d be very hard to deal with proffesionally. Serving has taught me that this-folks are either sweet or entitled assholes.

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